To the death!

Another scenario from patrol practicals, this time was a traffic stop.

It started out as a routine traffic stop. Single male, reason for stop was failure to indicate lane change, resulting in him cutting someone off.

I walk up to the driver’s side of the vehicle, start talking to him, and got his DL from him. I walked back to my patrol unit and ran the DL, came back clean and clear. I made a passenger side approach this time. Right before I got to the passenger window, I noticed I couldn’t see his hands. I leaned over a bit, and saw he had gun on his chest. He realized I saw it, and opened fire. At the exact same time, I started to draw my weapon. The BG’s (bad guy’s) first round hit just above the top of my right wrist as I spun away, which caused me to drop my Sim Glock. I did another spin move and grabbed it up with my left hand.

I proceeded to fire 2 or 3 rounds into the side window of the car, another couple of rounds into the back window said car, and one in his direction as I made my way to the cover of the patrol car. While I was doing that, the BG got out of his vehicle and fired multiple rounds at me (hence, why I was able to get one-off in his direction).  I took 2 hits in the right shoulder, and heard several rounds scream by me. I fired my one round his direction just as I reached the front of the patrol car. I briefly saw the BG drop behind his car. I crouched and rested my Sim Glock on the crook of the patrol car where the windshield, hood, and fender come together on the passenger side. I was taking careful aim at his side of the car, when I realized my sim gun had gone to slide lock. I did a quick one-handed reload, and started to take more fire.

I crawled around to the back of the patrol car, and saw he was looking over at my previous position. I took a half step away from cover, and was standing with my right hand in the armpit of my left hand, trying to support the Sim Glock in my left. I fired multiple times, but had no effective shots. He quickly returned fire. I took one round right in the trauma plate of my body armor and another just above my right knee. I did a leaping dive back behind the patrol car, and found myself resting on the trunk and bumper of the patrol car where I could still see him.

To be honest, at this point, I had no idea what to do. I was shot up, didn’t know how combat effective the BG was, and knew I was running low on ammo, since I had only been given one spare mag. I tried to think out how many rounds I had left in the mag, but couldn’t remember how many shots I’d fired. I figured I had at least 2 left. Next, I tried to think of how I could get some accurate shots off, since I had figured I only had 2 rounds left.

I don’t know how it came to me, but I suddenly remembered the off-hand shooting I learned at DPS2.

I assumed the off-hand shooting position (back leg straight, front leg bent support most of the weight, gun hand at the 45* position, a.k.a. the half gangsta hold) on the back driver’s edge of the patrol car. I had great cover from that position, and could still see all of the driver. He had opened the rear driver door of his car for cover during my thinking time.

I steadied myself, and fired the first round, which hit him in the left side of the left pectoral muscle. I fired another round, which hit him about 2″ diagonally upwards towards his chest. I fire another round, which hit him just left of his left nipple. At that, he fell to the ground. I promptly radioed for back up and EMS.

With that, the scenario was over.

 Key points:

  • All the instructors applauded me for not being willing to lay down and play ‘dead’ after being hit one time. They said I realized I would lose the use of what had been hit in combat, and acted accordingly to keep going.
  • I’ve got to learn to think quicker on the fly. My ‘thinking time’ may have saved my life this time, but out on the street, it could’ve gotten me killed.
  • I need to occasionally practice everything I’ve learned. Lots of trigger control and draw practice is great, but other useful skills, like off-hand stuff and malfunction drills, should be practiced regularly too. I had no idea what I would’ve done if that hadn’t of popped into my head.
  • You can never have too much ammo.
  • Shitty situations are shitty, but there is always a way out.

So, I know what your thinking, all the rounds I fired, how many times did I actually hit the guy?

I fired 13 rounds, hit him a total of 4 times. The final 3, and I gave him a good graze on the right side of his face. But, and this is a big but, if that would’ve been a real world shooting, it would’ve ended during my retreat to the patrol car. The instructor said that while I was running back to the patrol car, all the rounds I fired into the glass would’ve hit the upper back of the driver’s seat, ultimately hitting the BG in the upper back, possibly in the neck and head too. So, chances were extremely good, he would’ve been seriously wounded/killed as he was getting out of his car.

I don’t know how many rounds he fired. I know I started this encounter with 16 rounds, because the instructor counted the rounds in the mags, including the one in the gun.

So what did I learn? Getting shot with Sim rounds sucks!

More importantly, I took 2 big things away from that scenario. The first being I need to think smoother, after all, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. The second is training is what can keep your butt alive, if you are willing to practice that training. Other than the off-hand shooting I did during DPS2, and the brief bit of it we did during firearms at the Academy, I hadn’t done much off-hand shooting since DPS2. I mostly work on my draw, do trigger control, and practice on my reloading drills when I do practice at home. Obviously, I need to spend a little time at the range to help firm up the other skills as well.

Overall, I think I did pretty good. There are some things I wish I could’ve done better (i.e. duck faster), but I believe I’m set up pretty well to handle a shootout.

2 Responses to “To the death!”

  1. […] Then I read Jay’s latest posting about his recent police academy sim. What does he say? Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. […]

  2. Remember to think when you can. APD shootout last year in NE Austin, rookie beat cop facing down bad guy in back of pickup wearing body armor carry a real AK (full auto).
    The cop won and when interviewed afterward he commented, after shooting him in the chest ineffectively, he remembered to slow down, good sites, trigger control and get his hits. All this while he was taking full auto incoming fire. He did what he had to do to get his hits.

    Glad you survived this one!

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